Atmospheric aerosol particles play a vital role in the Earth's radiative energy budget. They exert a net cooling influence on climate by directly reflecting the solar radiation to space and by modifying the shortwave reflective properties of clouds. Each year, increasing amounts of aerosol particles are released into the atmosphere due to biomass burning, dust storms, forest fires, and volcanic activity. These particles significantly perturb the radiative balance on local, regional, and global scales. While the detection of aerosols over water is a well established procedure, the detection of aerosols over land is often difficult due to the poor contrast between the aerosols and the underlying terrain. In this study, we use textural measures in order to detect aerosols generated from biomass burning over South America, using AVHRR data. The regional radiative effects are then examined using ERBE data. Preliminary results show that the net radiative forcing of aerosols is about -36 W/sq m.